Reporting Mike Schuh
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The parents of a 10-year-old boy say two Baltimore City schools did nothing to protect him from bullies. In a first-of-its-kind trial, those parents are suing.
Mike Schuh is following the trial.
Every parent’s first obligation is to protect their child. The Sullivans say no matter who they told, no one in the school system protected their special needs son.
The sign “Bully-free zone” couldn’t be clearer, but at Hazelwood Elementary/Middle School and later at Glenmount School, Ed and Shawna Sullivan say that their 10-year-old special needs child was repeatedly bullied, called racial names and choked until he passed out.
They point to repeated attempts to get the principals and others to act with no success.
The boy’s father says that all of this bullying fundamentally changed his son. And when asked how, he couldn’t continue. He buried his head in his hands and sobbed.
There was a 10 minute recess. When he came back, he told the jury his son told him, “I hate myself and I want to die.”
It was at this moment that his dad said he checked his son into a psychiatric program at Hopkins.
“The public needs to know what’s going on,” said Ed Sullivan.
They’re asking for $1.3 million but say it’s not about the money.
“You can’t just keep denying that it’s happening and expect the problem to go away,” said Shawna Sullivan.
The principal of his first school Sidney Twiggs and the principal at his second school Charlotte Williams are named in the case.
Late this afternoon, the defense attorney solicited testimony that shows that the Sullivans never issued a bullying reporting form at either school. The Sullivans say that’s something they were never made aware of or offered.
Their son is now in a city charter school. The Sullivans say all is going well.
The plaintiffs have rested their case. Ed Sullivan was the last witness. Once the two principals testify in defense, final arguments should be heard Wednesday.
The case is expected to go to the jury Wednesday.